'Sky Brown effect': Olympic-medal winning skater inspires new generation after Tokyo 2020 success

Great Britain's Sky Brown celebrates winning the bronze medal during the Women's Park Final at Ariake Sports Park on the twelfth day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Credit: PA

Sky Brown, the 13-year-old skateboarding phenomenon, propelled herself into the record books on Wednesday morning after becoming Great Britain's youngest Olympic medal winner of all time.

After falling in her first two runs of the final, the teenager produced a composed final run to claim bronze in the women's park skateboarding final at the Tokyo games.

The extraordinary achievement means Brown, aged just 13 years and 28 days, replaces Sarah Hardcastle- a swimmer who won silver and bronze at the 1984 Olympics aged 15- as Britain's youngest summer Games medallist.

Sky Brown (right) celebrates the bronze win, alongside Japan's Sakura Yosozumi who won gold and Japan's Sakura Kokona Hiraki. Credit: PA

Brown seems to have a habit of making history.

She became the youngest person to compete at the Vans US Open at the age of 8, and was sponsored by Nike after turning professional in 2018, becoming the brand’s youngest athlete.

Brown again made history at the Tokyo Games when she stepped out at the Ariake Urban Sports Park, as the youngest athlete to represent Team GB, breaking Margery Hinton's 93-year-old record.

'I'm so happy, it's insane to be here,' an excited Sky Brown says after her bronze medal win

Born in Japan to an English father and Japanese mother, she splits her time between the country of her birth and the USA where she lived for many years as a young child.

Her Olympic success has sparked a huge interest in skateboarding in the UK, inspiring a new generation to take up a sport which has traditionally been male dominated and seen as an underground pursuit.

"We know there will be an increase in participation because of her win. This is down to the Sky Brown effect," James Hope-Gill, CEO of Skateboard GB, told ITV News.

"She is a phenomenal athlete who absolutely does inspire young people across the UK."

"She wants to give the message out that it does not matter how tall, small, old or young you are, if you are committed and go for it then you will realise your dreams."As well as inspiring the next generation, the Olympic success has lent credibility to skating, said Mr Hope Gill, who is responsible for creating the strategy for supporting UK skateboarding for the next 12 years.

"The Olympics opens up the profile of skating and gives it credibility. Some people think that it is kids on the streets being a nuisance but skateboarding is way more than that- it is a lifestyle, a culture.

"This gives us the opportunity to start talking to local authorities to try and get as many people skateboarding as possible. It is currently banned in a lot of city centres and we want to reverse that."

There are an estimated 750,000 amateur and professional skaters in the UK, with data from Skateboard GB showing a 24% increase in the number of girls skateboarding over the past 18 months.

The Tokyo Games has only fuelled the appetite for skateboarding, which featured in the Olympics for the first time this summer.

Sky Brown during a run before going on to win bronze in the Women's Park Final at Ariake Sports Park. Credit: PA

Skaters Lola Tambling and Miriam Nelson, both 13, have told ITV News they are aiming to one day take part in the Games themselves after being inspired by Brown, and her fellow Team GB skater Bombette Martin.

Speaking at the XC sports facility in Hemel Hempstead, they went on to describe the intensity of watching the women's park skateboarding final at Tokyo 2020, and talked of the perseverance it must take to make it to the Olympics.

Lola and Miriam describe how much they have been inspired by Team GB skaters at the Tokyo Olympics